Thelma…. Pet

No, they really can’t explain

If you are familiar with the old tv series The Likely Lads you will know that Thelma is always followed with ‘pet ‘ so I had to include it in the title.

This Thelma is a boilersuit. I really wanted a boilersuit after seeing the wonderful Zoe Laughlin in hers in her tv series. She always seemed to be so ridiculously happy and comfortable I knew I had to join her, and when I saw the Merchant and Mills pattern I was hooked.

I bought the PDF and I have to say that there were lots of pages to print and stick together. Lots. If that’s not your thing then shell out that little bit extra for the printed version. I imagine it will be fairly impressive as the attention to detail in the PDF was good. I have no complaints – all the bits joined up correctly, and the written instructions for construction were excellent – if I could consistently recognise right and left I would have had no trouble making this up at all.

I was determined to make this up from stash. No problem with fabric as I found a lovely chocolate brown baby cord that despite being very soft I thought would be good to use, but I needed 16 buttons! I had little hope of finding that many of anything matching despite having a ridiculous amount of buttons. But you have to check….

Check the backs!

I did find a set of 16 but they were too light and a bit pink so I was about to chuck them back in the tin and dropped them. That was when I saw that the back of the button was a perfect fit for the job! So, if you can’t find the buttons you want check the backs. This has happened in the past but I wasn’t thinking about that when I was searching.

I found the necessary interfacing in stash, and sufficient cotton odds and sods for the yoke facings and pocket bags so I was good to go.

As I said earlier the pattern was beautifully drawn, no problem matching notches or anything like that. I cut a size 14 top and graded down to a size 12 trouser section without huge difficulties. I did actually pay attention to the instructions so I could report truthfully. Had I not trimmed off the wrong side of the fly at one point I could honestly say I had no difficulties at all but the truth is that any difficulty was of my own making. The size was pretty much exactly as expected having checked the pattern information.

I was thrilled when I finished this, and decided to take it with me when I visited my sister last week so she could try it. She looked great and absolutely loved it (although her other half wasn’t so sure). It stayed there.

My favourite sister looking very happy
And the back

The plan is to make another very soon. And hopefully I will do so without trimming anything I shouldn’t.

I did pretty well from her – I came away with a poncho/action blanket(Google it – it’s hilarious) that she had crocheted. Good deal all round!

Everyone’s happy!

I’m struggling to get to grips with the new WordPress editor so I apologise for the bits after this. I’ve tried in vain to delete. Feel free to ignore 🙄


24 Comments on “Thelma…. Pet”

  1. sew2pro says:

    Very nice sewing, and a perfect garment for these dress-down times.
    And I need an action blanket for WFH now the weather is … disappointing.

  2. Liz Haywood says:

    I do like your boilersuit, or rather, your sister’s boiler suit. I think you both did well in the swap!

  3. Roxane says:

    Are you a good sister, or what? Bet it feels like heaven in that soft baby cord.

  4. Awesome! So what fabric are you making the second one in? The baby cord sounds lovely and snuggly, especially now the weather has cooled down a bit.

  5. I got the reference straightaway, I love James Bolan as well, he must be knocking on a bit too, 😳.

    That’s a great look, your sister got lucky. I’ve been on a boiler suit mission ever since I saw a Scotch and Soda one on That’s not my age blog, I bought Kwik Sew 3389 and it’s very similar to the m&m although it’s sized for men. I think I would’ve bought the m&m if I’d seen it first. I’m looking for soft denim or linen now, not easy online as there are so many variables.

    I’ve got a deferred ticket to Sewing for Pleasure in Brum which has been re-scheduled for November, that would be a good goal to make it for.

    • Kim says:

      Apparently James Nolan is a crusty old #@#@ in real life but I loved the Likely Lads. I’m not so happy when The Management is location spotting (Vera suffers this too).
      I’m preparing supplies for my suit now ….. Was going baby cord but a soft denim would be good 😉. Get sewing for November!

  6. tialys says:

    Sixteen buttons!! – I’d have had to have had a little lie down on the swooning couch before I embarked upon such a mission.
    Your sister looks great although this particular pattern does look a little bit too ‘real’ boiler suit for me if you get my drift. After I made Deer & Doe’s Sirocco jumpsuit which I gave to my daughter who wears it a lot, I pondered on making another for me but it’s a bit of a wriggle to get it on and off so decided against any more such garments. However, a friend of mine made Foldline’s Zadie jumpsuit which I tried on and, as I had the perfect fabric in my stash, decided to give it a go. I really like it but haven’t worn it yet as I don’t seem to be going to the right sort of place to wear it – plus it’s been too hot. I think I will wear it once I get back to the U.K.
    As for Thelma – pet. I can never say ‘Mary’ without thinking about saying ‘hen’ afterwards à la Rab C. Nesbitt.

    • Kim says:

      I know! I was sure I wouldn’t manage so it was a thrill when I found the set that worked.
      It is a ‘very real’ boilersuit. My dad’s looked almost identical – maybe that’s why I wanted one?
      I’d forgotten Mary hen! Another variation in dialect . There must be so many 😂

  7. rajkkhoja says:

    Beautiful photos. So good looking look.

  8. Sewniptuck says:

    Have to ask Kim, have you other sisters to choose from?! Excellent make luv. Hen is very familiar to me since my parents are from the NE. A friend was explaining he went out with a girl from Newcastle and he tried to tell me she referred to women as heenie, which made no sense to me at all then I realised he was trying to say hinnie!! Yes, so may dialectic idiosyncrasies. Had enough of the hot weather yet? We have just had a 23C day, it’s still officially winter here, but suddenly the wool trousers I’m making don’t seem so appealing! xx

    • Kim says:

      No, she’s the only one (but she’s very special to me). She was unreasonably happy with the boilersuit. I’ve enjoyed The heat but we really aren’t used to it here – and it gets very humid rather than pleasant dry heat. The weather is getting cooler here (15°C yesterday) so it’s not going to be long before it’s perfect for wearing this stuff.
      I’d completely forgotten that hinnie was odd to other people. Here in the Midlands they use ‘bab’ – and I thought that was strange 😂

      • Sewniptuck says:

        Not sure if it’s my age or a sign ‘o’ the times but I find myself using many more terms of endear than ever before. Babe is sometimes a thing here! We too have unbearable humidity, but generally our houses have adapted over time. My Mum suffered the n her 1 bedder in Leighton Buzzard this year. Xx

  9. Looks like you both came out of that as winners! and you had fun. Being one of 4 girls I am curious if I am ever labelled the “favourite” sister? 😦

  10. mrsmole says:

    Great job and so sweet of you to gift that outfit after all that work and planning/taping pattern pieces together! I am looking for the 16 buttons and all I can see is a center front zipper? Love the color and style of the new pancho/cape…you did well in the swap too!!!!

    • Kim says:

      She’s worth the effort 😊. The buttons are largely hidden under a placket on the front (no zip), and on the cuff , pockets, and back adjustments. I’m truth I think it would be possible to mix buttons without being obvious.
      The poncho is soooo soft! And warm. We both feel we won which is the best possible situation

  11. I can’t deal with the new editor either. Urgh!
    On a happier note, your boilersuit looks so comfy! What a good find with the buttons.


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